India v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Kolkata, 5th day March 20, 2005

Wicket off the first ball was the turning point - Ganguly

Anil Kumble won India another Test with some exceptional bowling, taking his 29th five-wicket haul in a Test innings. After the match, both he and Sourav Ganguly spoke to the media.



Anil Kumble: another match-winning performance © Getty Images

Anil Kumble

On the dismissal of Younis Khan
It wasn't a planned dismissal. I tried to bowl middle and leg, and the ball drifted a bit down the leg side. It was a brilliant stumping by Dinesh [Karthik].

On bowling alongside Harbhajan Singh
When two spinners are bowling in tandem and bowling well, the batsmen don't get much of a breather. That adds to the pressure on them. I think all our bowlers did a good job in this Test.

On getting Inzamam-ul-Haq seven times in as many Tests
It's always good to get the top player in the opposition. I hope that trend continues for the rest of the series as well.

On how this haul compared with his 10-74 against Pakistan in Delhi
They are totally different Tests, different circumstances. Not being able to force a victory in Mohali hurt, and I am glad I played a part in the team's win here. There was a little bit of assistance from the track, but it was on the slower side. It helped that we kept pressure on the batsmen from both ends, and had plenty of runs on the board as well. It's good to go to Bangalore with a 1-0 advantage. Hopefully, we can carry this confidence with us into the final Test and make it 2-0 at the end of the series.

Sourav Ganguly

On the turning point of the match
To me, the turning point was getting a wicket off the day's first ball. When you get off to a start like that, it sets up the team for the rest of the day and also puts a lot of pressure on the batting side.

On when he felt the match was in the bag
When we declared last evening, we thought we had a chance of winning the match. Once we got rid of [Shahid] Afridi last evening and then picked up that wicket first thing in the morning, I was more or less confident of victory.

On how high he rated this win
Pakistan have played well at this venue. We came close to winning the one-dayer in November but couldn't defend 292, and the dew had a part to play in that result. So it's very satisfying to register this win. This is one of the better wins I have been a part of. Having said that, I would rate the wins in Headingley, Adelaide and Rawalpindi much higher than this effort.

On Kumble's bowling
I don't think he needs my commendation or anyone else's. His achievements speak for themselves. He has taken close to 500 wickets, and there is every chance that he will take 600 wickets by the time he is done with the game.

On Harbhajan's return
I thought he bowled very well, and he improved as the match went on. It was his first Test in a long time, and his first game with a new action, and I am pretty happy with what I saw.

On Karthik's innings
It was a very crucial knock. I think under pressure, he played exceedingly well. It was a match-winning innings along with Dravid's.

On whether he would consider dropping down one spot in the batting order and pushing VVS Laxman up to No. 5
I have scored most of my runs batting at No. 5. I have had a good last 14 Tests, I have scored runs for the last 10 years. It's only in the last three innings that I haven't made a significant contribution. At the end of the day, it doesn't make a difference what number you bat at, but it's time for both of us - Laxman and myself - to get runs. I feel a big innings is just around the corner. It's just a phase of two or three innings. I have been scoring consistently for the last five years, and hopefully I will get back to run-scoring ways in Bangalore.

Anand Vasu is an assistant editor of Cricinfo.